8 Effective Yoga Poses to Beat Depression

8 Effective Yoga Poses to Beat Depression

If you wake up and find yourself filled with hopelessness and dread at the thought of facing the day, you are probably starting to fall into the hole of depression, which is a dangerous place to be. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to fight the signs of depression before they start taking over your mental peace. Yoga has been a part of Indian culture since ancient times. It has various benefits – fighting depression is being one of them. With regular practice of yoga you can keep depression at bay.



How Does Yoga Help to Overcome Depression?

Yoga has many different aspects to it and many different styles that focus on working on different parts of your body. It is basically a mix of physical movement and meditation – the two vital ingredients for treating depression. Meditation can help clear your mind and help you focus on the present. And the physical movements in yoga can help in improving the connection between your body and mind. Breathing exercises are useful when it comes to lowering the symptoms of depression. Those who practice yoga have been known to have higher Heart Rate Variability (HRV), which reduces the stress response and increases the relaxation response in the body.





Best Yoga Poses to Cure Depression

Here are some yoga poses that are great for reducing and curing depression:

1. Child Pose

Performing child pose or balasana helps relieve anxiety and stress by calming the brain. By doing this pose, your hips and lower back are stretched which promote physical relaxation.




Child pose

How To Do

  • Kneel on a yoga mat and sit on your heels with your big toes touching each other.
  • Keep your knees hip-width apart and bend forward until your head touches the floor.
  • Your arms should be stretched straight above your head.
  • Stay in this position for a few minutes. Then return to normal position.

2. Bridge Pose

Bridge pose strengthens the muscles of the back and stretches your chest, which makes you feel more at ease and lighter, making it good hatha yoga for depression.





A woman doing a bridge pose

How To Do 

  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms facing down.
  • Fold your knees and bring your legs up. Your feet should be hip-width apart touching the ground or yoga mat.
  • Slowly lift your back off the ground and hold the position for a few seconds. Keep your arms straight meanwhile.
  • While performing this asana, your thighs should have a gap between them, but your legs should be parallel to each other.

3. Cobra Pose

One of the great yoga asanas for depression is bhujangasana or cobra pose. This pose strengthens the upper body and can help you get rid of mild depression and fatigue.




Cobra pose

How To Do

  • Lie down on your stomach. Your legs should be stretched and toes pointed.
  • Come onto your forearms. Your elbows should be under your shoulders parallel to each other.
  • Take a deep breath and gently lift your head, chest, and abdomen while your navel should keep touching the yoga mat.
  • Tilt your head back and try to look up.
  • Your shoulders should not be touching your ears, and your chest should be out and straight.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and gently while breathing out bring your abdomen, chest, and head back on the floor.

4. Downward Facing Dog

This pose improves the blood circulation in the body and also stretches the neck. This creates a release in stress and makes this type of yoga good for depression and anxiety.





Downward facing dog

How To Do

  • Place your palms on the ground and straighten your knees and elbows.
  • Your body will form an upside down V.
  • Keep your neck stretched and straight, and your ears should touch the insides of your upper arms.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.

5. Plough Pose

This pose is great for enhancing the posture and giving the body a good stretch. It also helps calm the brain and help with insomnia and headaches.




Plough pose

How To Do

  • Lie on your back and place your arms along the sides of the body with your palms facing down.
  • Lift your legs to 90 degrees.
  • Keep your hands on your hips to help guide them.
  • Slowly push your hips towards your chest and bring your feet behind your head.
  • Once in place, straighten your hands and place them along the sides of your body, palms down, and hold the position for a few seconds.

6. Standing Forward Fold Pose

This pose relieves the shoulders, neck, and back from tension as well as improves the function of the nervous system, which helps reduce anxiety.





Standing forward fold pose

How To Do

  • Stand straight and keep your arms at your sides.
  • Slowly bend forward and bring your hands to rest on the ground beside your feet.
  • Hold your ankles with your hands and keep your knees straight.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.

7. Warrior Pose

This pose strengthens the core and the legs and also helps reduce anxiety and stress.




Warrior pose

How To Do

  • Stand straight with your arms at your sides.
  • Bring your left foot forward and stretch your right foot back.
  • Your left knee should be bent and right foot should be stretching back – straight.
  • Exhale and raise your arms above your head.
  • Hold this position for some time.
  • Repeat with right leg forward.

8. Corpse Pose

This pose is always done to end a yoga session. It helps you relax your mind and body and allows the muscles to really feel the effects of the previous poses. This is a great pose for depression.





Corpse pose

How To Do

  • Lie down on a yoga mat.
  • Keep your feet hip-width apart and your hands by your side with palms facing up.
  • Close your eyes and allow your body to relax. Breathe in and breathe out and focus on your breathing.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about how yoga is good for depression.




1. How Common is Depression?

Depression is considered to be a mood disorder that causes a person to experience a lot of sadness and grief for extended periods that have nothing to do with what is going on in their lives. People with depression experience extreme sadness and loss of appetite.

About 300 million people around the world suffer from some type of depression, making it a common problem. There are many types of depression that a person can suffer from, namely, major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and atypical depression.


2. Is There Any Yoga Pose to Cure Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum depression is very common among new mothers, and about 80% of new moms experience it after giving birth. They experience fatigue and sadness, and go through mood swings. Most women recover in about a week or two after delivery. For some mothers, postpartum depression does not set in right after the birth of the baby, but it can occur any time during the first year of their baby’s life. This puts mothers in a difficult position because they have young ones to take care of.

Luckily, some yoga poses can help in treating postpartum depression to an extend. The positions mentioned above are great to help with depression. Some other poses that can help are:

  • The cat-cow pose can help stretch and relieve the neck and back from the tension and stress. You will be able to nurse your child better.
  • Legs up the wall pose can help relax your legs and help you focus on your breathing.
  • The cow face pose also helps ease the burden on the neck and shoulders that comes along with feeding your child.

3. Can Yoga Help With Depression in Kids?

Unfortunately kids, just like adults, can suffer from depression, though it does not look very similar to adults. While adults may seem sad, children can seem rather defiant or irritable if they are suffering from depression. Many parents seem to think of the irritability that children go through to be a phase, but if it lasts for more than a couple of weeks, it is something to be worried about as it could be a sign of depression. Another very clear sign of depression in kids is that they may have more pain than they should. Stomach aches and headaches are the most frequently occurring physical ailments in depressed children. If your child is experiencing childhood depression, then it may be time to think about ways to help; expecting it to go away on its own is not an option.

You can teach yoga to your child if he is suffering from depression. Not only does it help in fighting off the symptoms of depression, but it also helps in preventing them, which is why getting your child into the habit of doing some exercises will be very beneficial.


According to psychobiologists, strong emotions can be remembered by our subconscious even if our consciousness has forgotten about it. This means that they can be stored in our bodies and can be triggered unexpectedly. This is why yoga is such good therapy for depression. It involves working on the body and the mind and prevent past experiences from influencing the present view of the world, and there are many yoga poses to relieve depression.

Teach yoga do your child to keep his depression at bay. Encourage him to try out a few simple yoga poses every day. Poses like child pose or bridge pose can be very helpful for children when it comes to fighting depression.

As you now know that yoga is an especially good way to treat depression, so start doing it. Yoga can help clear your mind and work on your breathing. It will also harmonise your body and mind, which can improve your mood. Don’t overlook the incredible healing powers that come with this magical practice. Practise these yoga asanas now and stay healthy and happy.

Also Read:


Amazing Benefits of Yoga for Entire Family
Yoga for Pain Management
How to Support Someone in Depression